“I see the Moon, and
The Moon sees me
The Moon sees somebody I’d like to see…”
Low, off-key, the little children’s ditty pops out, first as humming, a melodic memory from childhood a half-century ago. Absently, I begin singing the old rhyme as we stand outside, waiting companionably on the dog’s evening ritual under the warm light of a harvest moon looming large in the inky fall sky.
Sis jerks her small blonde head around to stare at me, searching, surprised, as if I’ve emitted the unintelligible audio of a space alien. Startled to have startled her, I pause for a millisecond, then plunge on, another verse awaiting its turn in memory’s queue. It’s a little tune her mother loved, thirty years ago, and I sang it to my little daughter because my mom sang it to me. I’ve sung to Sis before, many times, so why the surprise? She’s a few fingers short of six years old, a bit long in the tooth for nursery rhymes, but some tunes endure, ageless in the heart.
“God bless the Moon, and God bless me…”
Swiftly, her chubby little dial, faintly mauve in the fall air, morphs into excitement, while the head bobs just slightly, straining for the ill-defined tempo. Then from some tiny synapse comes the instinct to join in.
“God bless the moon and God bless me…,” she warbles, a tiny vocal shadow, an itty bit of melody offered back with the blue eyes locked on mine.
I nod a beam of encouragement with the last line of the verse. “God bless the somebody I’d like to see.”
“God bless the somebody,” she trills back, eye bigger with the thrill of a duet discovered, and we finish the last line together.
It’s our first sing-along.
“Seems to me that God above
Created you for me to love.
He picked you out, from all the rest
Because he knew, I loved you best.” *
*The origin of this rhyme and lullaby is variously reported, but clearly long ago. The verses added here are the ones sung to me as a child, but there are multiple versions. The first verse can be read in a volume called Gammer Gurton’s Garland, a collection of rhymes first published in London in 1810, with the subtitle “A choice collection of pretty songs and verses for the Amusement of all Little Good Children who can neither read nor run.”